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Armenian Foreign Ministry Confirms More Resignations


Armenia - The Armenian Foreign Ministry building in Yerevan.

All four deputy foreign ministers of Armenia tendered their resignations after Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazian stepped down on May 27, it was officially confirmed on Monday.

Ayvazian announced his decision hours after an emergency session of the Armenian government’s Security Council which discussed mounting tensions on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

Speaking at a May 31 farewell meeting with the Foreign Ministry staff, Ayvazian hinted that he is quitting because of disagreeing with government decisions which he believes could put the country’s sovereignty and national security at risk. He did not go into details.

It emerged afterwards that one of Ayvazian’s deputies, Gagik Ghalachian, also handed in his resignation on May 27. Some Armenian media outlets reported last week that the three other deputy ministers -- Artak Apitonian, Avet Adonts and Armen Ghevondian -- followed suit.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry confirmed those reports on Monday. It told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service that the resignations of Apitonian, Adonts and Ghevondian were submitted to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s office for approval last week.

None of the vice-ministers has been formally relieved of his duties so far.

Speaking at the May 27 meeting of the Security Council, Pashinian called for the deployment of international observers along contested portions of the frontier where Armenian and Azerbaijani troops have been facing off against each other for the last four weeks.

Some opposition figures and other critics of Pashinian denounced the proposal, accusing him of failing to defend Armenia against foreign aggression and plotting to cede Armenian territory to Baku. The prime minister and his allies deny that.

Ayvazian’s remarks gave Pashinian’s detractors more ammunition. An Armenian government spokeswoman challenged the outgoing minister to publicly clarify “who, where and how was going to take some steps or to make decisions contradicting our country’s national and state interests.”

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